Local doctors say FDA changes to breast cancer screening overdue

The FDA’s recently made the first changes to breast cancer screening requirements in decades.

The changes affect requirements for healthcare workers, including what’s included in letters given to mammogram patients.

Those letters must now include notifications about breast tissue density, which can make mammograms less effective and is an additional risk factor for breast cancer.

Dr. Rich Ellis, a clinical breast radiologist at Mayo Clinic Health System, said the Institute of Medicine made similar recommendations about five years ago.

“Many institutions have actually already implemented them, because we recognize and want to provide the highest level of care for our patients,” said Ellis.

Annual screening mammagraphs are reccomended starting at 40. If you have additional risks, including dense breast tissue, talk with your doctor about options.

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